By: Caren Gillespie
When The Next Family approached me to write an article about a special mother, my first thought was, “how do I choose just one?” I know some pretty phenomenal moms, but here is one who really stands out.
Krista is a full-time working mother of three children: Mercer, (almost) 7, Haley, 4, and Kemper, 1. When I say “full time”, I’m not talking about your typical 9-5 day. Krista, who works in sales, is basically on call all hours of the day. She is not the type of person to do anything half-assed -especially mothering…
With all the work she has to do, one might think she’d have no time to be so present in her children’s day-to-day lives. I, being a stay at home mom, have more time than Krista has, but I cannot imagine being able to participate in all my children’s daily activities in the way she does. She is a room mother, a coach, on the preschool board, and attends all school events. She admits that being so involved allows her to have a bit more control of the environment of her son, who has a peanut allergy so severe that he must always carry an Epi-Pen. She is determined to not only make the school district a nut-free environment, she just might take on the world at some point….this is just how she rolls. All the while, she is determined that her son not feel abnormal about his allergy and he takes it in stride.
I am in awe when I watch all she can juggle. She runs her house in a coach-like manner with a “go get ’em!” mentality and a soft mommy edge. It works for her family, and their “dance” is inspiring to watch. She could not have more generous, thoughtful, loving children. You watch them and you know for sure they know they are Number One in her life. She does get sad if she has missed out on anything with her children, and you can tell she has mom guilt with some of her choices (I tell her it comes with the territory). But one thing you won’t hear from her is complaining. Sure, she gets down or needs to vent, but most of that consists of her trying to figure out a solution for whatever is bugging her or what she could do differently in the future. It’s inspiring really….
I recently sat down over some wine and appetizers to see if I could find out her secret.
Did you always know you wanted a big family?
Yes, I grew up in a big sports family and when one of us was away it didn’t feel like the house was empty because at least two of us were home. It was like our own internal community, which is what I want for my children.
How do you balance your family and working life?
That’s a great question…It’s an answer I hope I will learn someday. Do you know you have balance when you do? I guess I just try to maintain acceptance and try and let go of some of the tactical things. I basically keep two identities: my work and my home.
What is your biggest challenge with maintaining some balance?
Sometimes I wish I had more time in the day and sometimes I wish the day were over. I try and make sure each day includes one-on-one time with each of the kids.
Describe your relationship with your husband.
I feel so blessed to have Steve; we have been best friends for 15 years. I know he is always there for me….He’s my family!
Describe a good day.
A good day consists of no morning appointments so I can walk my kids to school, my work done early so I can play with the kids before dinner and time with each kid. I want them to be tired because we had so much fun that day.
What do you do for yourself?
Not Enough! I just know that when the kids are laughing it’s good for my soul. I do get to sleep in sometimes and am finding more time with my friends, but for the most part I am still trying to figure it out.
What is your 5-year plan?
Part of why I work now is so when my kids are preteen and teenagers I won’t have to work as hard and can spend more time with them.
In a perfect world, how would your life look?
I would vacation every day and just watch my kids having a blast. We would have no monetary responsibility.
What advice would you give someone else contemplating a large family while working full time?
Find what works for you, everyone is different but make sure you laugh every day.
I feel privileged to know Krista. Even with her every day demands she always tells me “are you kidding? I always have time for you.” She truly inspires me to be a more positive mother and to appreciate the time I get to spend with my own children. She does it all so gracefully but she will be the first to admit it is not easy. It takes work, but it’s all worth it to her!